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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311
(1969)

III: The Crusades of Frederick Barbarossa and Henry VI,   pp. 86-122 PDF (14.1 MB)


Page 120

120 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES  II 
responded to Barbarossa's call, was led by Conrad of Wittelsbach, archbishop
of Mainz; archbishop Hartwig of Bremen; the chancellor of the empire, Conrad
of Querfurt, newly elected bishop of Hildesheim; and the bishops of Halberstadt,
Verden, Naumburg and Zeitz, Munster (who later backed out), Regensburg, Passau,
Prague, and Toul. Among the leading laymen who went were duke Henry of Brabant,
the count-palatine of the Rhine, Henry of Brunswick, duke Frederick of Austria,
duke Berthold of Dalmatia, duke Ulrich of Carinthia, landgrave Hermann of
Thuringia, the margraves of Landsberg and Meissen, and many counts. Led by
the archbishop of Mainz, the majority managed to leave near the appointed
time for the carefully prepared harbors of southern Italy and Sicily. To
the Italians they seemed like ravaging wolves descending upon the countryside,
about to join with an imperial mercenary army which could hardly be said
to be fighting for a heavenly cause. 
 They began to arrive in southern Italy just as a serious revolt against
Henry's hard regime in the south was gathering momentum. Some thought they
had been called south to quell the unrest, and indeed some did help to quell
it. But though Henry abandoned all thought of leading the crusade personally,
he did not allow his critical political position to interfere with its progress.
From March 1197 onwards, ships laden with German crusaders were leaving southern
ports. By August the contingent from the Rhinelands and Saxony led by Henry
of Brunswick and the archbishop of Bremen arrived in Messina with forty-four
ships, after having stopped in Norway, England, and Portugal. These, together
with those German princes and imperial troops who had not yet sailed, left
Messina for Acre in early September under the command of the imperial chancellor
Conrad of Querfurt and Henry of Kalden. Arnold of Lübeck estimates their
number at sixty thousand, including four hundred burghers from Lübeck.
Henry's fifteen hundred knights with their attendants, and his fifteen hundred
squires formed a nucleus of six thousand men. On September 22 the main German
fleet arrived in Acre. A part of the fleet under the chancellor stopped at
Cyprus to crown Aimery of Lusignan and receive his homage.44 
 On September 28, 1197, one of Henry's frequent fevers caused his death at
Messina. Vague rumors of the emperor's death reached the German army in Beirut,
and it was confirmed as they were besieging a Turkish stronghold at Toron
outside of Tyre. The 
 44 On Cyprus under the Lusignan kings, see below, chapter XVII. 


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